Wednesday, October 28, 2015

They’re here – The Holidays!

This Saturday is October 31st, Halloween. This just starts the wildness for our family. Not only is there Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, but we have 6 birthdays and 2 anniversaries in between. This is certainly our party time of the year.

Oh yes, we also have a Harvest Party for friends and family in mid November, only about 50 people. Think I’m getting busy yet?

When I sit down and think about all the things I want to do between now and then I feel pretty overwhelmed. I like to have everything planned out. What we are going to eat and drink, who sits where, and the gifts, oh those gifts. Each one must be perfect for each person. Searching for the right gift is one of the hardest things for me to do. Then the wrapping and bows and cards. Wow that is a lot of work.

Seeing the smiles on our grand children’s faces makes it all worthwhile. I love the holidays, no matter how tired I get.

It’s what you do when you love your family and friends. You create memories together.

Like the first time I baked a turkey and left the inners in the cavity. Turkey looked perfect and tasted great.

Or the time I peeled 10 lbs of potatoes and shoved all the skins down the disposal and it jammed up. One of my guests needed to take the sink apart to clean it out. What a mess. Mean while, one of the younger children said “is that pan suppose to have fire coming out of it?”

Or another Christmas day when it had rained for several days and the ground was like a sponge. When my brother came over and parked in the side yard, before they could get out of the car it was sinking up to the floor boards. He had to call to get it towed back out to the street. In Christmas cheer, we gave the tow truck driver a plate of Christmas cookies.

Or the Aunt that only offers to help after everything was done. Now we all take a turn being that Aunt and have a good time with it.

I could go on and on with funny antidotes about crazy things that happen during the holidays. I am sure you have your favorites to retell each year also.

Each year I vow to do better this time of the year. Be better prepared. Have the gifts purchased or made in a reasonable time. (Not waiting till the last minute to get creative.) I promise not to spend as much money, because it isn’t the cost of the gifts, but the thought behind it. Each year I do the same as I did the previous year.

Just a thought, maybe I should concentrate more on making memories with everyone instead of having everything so perfect. (Not that it is perfect). How about teaching our children or grand children that it’s not about the number of gifts they open each year.

I’m slowly going in this direction, giving a gift of experiences instead of toys that fall apart.

Here are a few of the gifts that I have given that were really a big hit with the families:
  • Yearly family passes to the zoo or children’s hands on museum.
  • Kayaking gift certificate.
  • Movie or circus tickets.

Look around at what is going on in your area or their area if they don’t live near you. I am sure you can come up with some wonderful ideas.

Last year I created a scavenger hunt for each of my son-in-laws before they found their gifts. They had a good time with it and the kids really liked seeing their dads having to play the game. Now they have vowed to get me back this year. Oh well, we will see about that.

What kind of fun gifts have you given in the past? Share with us.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Having a Bad Day?

Have you ever woken up and just thought “Oh no, I’m not ready to face the day?” Just rolling over seems to take more energy than you have available for the whole day.

Yesterday was a great day. Everything went well, life was good, you accomplished everything you needed to and all was right in your world. When you went to bed you expected the next day to go as smoothly.

What happened while you slept that rocked the world and threw your life into turmoil?

Climbing out of bed and shuffling to the bathroom you look in the mirror. Yesterday was a good hair day, your jeans fit well and felt pretty. Today, not so much.

So what happened? I have no idea, but it happens.

Some days we just don’t have the answers to the universe and its issues. However, we do know that our universe was created by God and everything that happens if His good and He is in control.

Psalm 18:31-32 (NKJV)

31 For who is God, except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength,
And makes my way perfect.

According to the Bible, God has armed me with strength and makes my way perfect.

So, now what?

We have a heart to heart with ourselves, put our big girl panties on and know that we are not in control. Brush off the weird feelings we are having and know that tomorrow is another day.

Take 15 minutes for yourself, pray and go for a quick walk. Get rid of those cobwebs and clear your head of those negative thoughts.

What are some of things you do when you wake up and have “one of those days”?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tools of the trade.

What do you do for a living? Do you work outside the home? Maybe you work from home. Maybe you are a stay at home mom. There are tools that we use for our “trade” no matter what we do.

Right now I am a stay at home grandma. My tools that I use are my kitchen, my computer, my phone, my sewing machine and my heart.

If you are a teacher, you use computers, white boards, overheads, your voice and your education. A banker would use their computers, money, paperwork and other office items. A hairdresser would use scissors, a razor, a curling iron and such.

Our tools that we use everyday help us do our jobs, no matter what profession we are in. Yes, a stay at home mom is a profession.

 I am also a Christian. What are my tools that I use to serve God? In my case they are similar to the things I use every day.

  • My sewing machine to make baby blankets for the hospital, and caps for cancer patients.
  • My kitchen to make food for someone that is sick.
  • My computer to send someone an encouraging message.
  • My Bible to look up scripture for my writing and my blog.

It doesn’t matter what you do daily to earn a living or keep your home running smoothly. If you are a Christian, you can use your tools every day to encourage someone and share the word of God.

Other tools that we can use would be:
  • The word of God
  • Business cards with scripture on them
  • Prayer before a meeting
  • Inviting someone to services 

Everyday there are opportunities to share the word or God with someone, or the chance to let your light shine.

Go the extra mile today and do something for someone else and use the tools that God has given you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Is Satan knocking on your door?

My husband and I went to see the movie “War Room” about a week ago on a Sunday afternoon. I highly recommend it to everyone. It is not just for couples, but for anyone who wants to take a good look at their life. It was really a Wow movie that made me think about my situations and if God was in control or was I trying to control God.

Yes, I have control issues.

On Monday, my faith was put to test. My husband came home and announced the company he was working for was going belly up and closing their doors. He would have his job for another 30 to 60 days and that’s it.

We didn’t see that one coming.

Instead of immediately going into full panic mode (which would have been the norm for me), I calmly sat and listened to my husband and tried to think of how he must be feeling. How devastating to come home with bad news and face your family. It wasn’t his fault; there is nothing he can do about the situation, so why add to the stress that he was feeling.

As my husband and I discussed the options that were facing us, him changing jobs, me going to work, us moving, I knew what was happening. Satan was knocking on my door. It was up to me to make the decision to let him in or not. I have chosen not to open that door.

That morning I had prayed, not just my normal prayer with my check list of requests to God, but with an earnest heart. I denounced Satan and told him he would not be welcome in our house. I firmly believe if I had not gone to God in prayer that morning with my heart open, I would not have been able to have the reaction I did that evening.

Many verses come to mind that will sustain me through this challenge:

1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant’ because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths.

Good is alive and in my home, leading us as we go through this situation. I will not fall prey to Satan’s negative thoughts.

We all face these kinds of problems. We are not unique.

How will you react the next time Satan is knocking on your door?